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Saturday, 24 June 2023 17:58

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A - 2023

Bill Burt 150Earlier this month the Church celebrated Corpus Christi, the Feast Day of the Body & Blood of Jesus. As is often the case for me, when I was preparing a sermon for this special Mass, my mind shot-off on a tangent that at first didn’t seem to be related to the theme of the day. I found myself thinking about chicken soup!

A good friend of mine makes an amazing chicken soup, using her own secret ingredients that make it delicious and very special. After just a few spoonfuls of the soup, one feels great, not just physically replete but also mentally and, may I say, spiritually satisfied.

Not one sparrows falls to ground without Father knowing TwitterOn a chilly Melbourne day when I last had a bowl of this soup, I was reminded of a series of books that were popular a number of years ago, “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. The books comprised short stories and reflections designed to give encouragement to people who were in the dumps. Food, in this case, was used to describe what it is that gives life, that strengthens and refreshes the whole person.

On the Feast Day of the Body and Blood of Jesus, I heard myself saying, “Jesus wants to give each of us that special food which truly gives life, strengthening and refreshing the whole person. He does invite us to receive him in a special way at Communion, but that’s not the only way we can ingest the Body & Blood of Jesus.

The message in the Gospels and in the writings of St Paul is clear. Jesus is present “where two or three are gathered in his name”. He is present especially in the poor and needy. He is present in each of us. We are invited to accept the divine food offered by him in the people around us.

And just as he gives his entire self to us as food that gives life, he calls us to be life-givers as well. What a privilege it is to receive the life-giving power of Jesus. What a challenge it is to be conduits of that life-giving power to others.

When we are enjoying a favourite meal, savouring particular flavours that give us so much pleasure and vitality, we could allow the experience to remind ourselves that Jesus wants us to partake in the divine food he offers, at the altar, but also in the world at large, in the people who are the face of Jesus. We are called to partake …